*These entries are not a review of anyone’s comedy. Stand-up is such a subjective art form that no one person will have the same experience as another. the jokes people tell will never work for 100% of the people who hear them. I am just trying to write about what I take away form watching more experienced comedians whether I personally like their material, or not. For me personally, since I have started to do stand-up, watching both the early and late shows really help me see the “nuts and bolts” of comedy. I get to experience the magic in the first show, then see the “secret” behind the trick in the second. Still the magic is never lost on me because stand-up is such an organic art form, I still get to see how the performer handles situations that no one can predict will happen.*
Saturday night I wrapped up ep.007 with Chris and Matt doing an interview with Count Hopkins Jr. in the ‘cast cave. Afterward Count and I tried to make it out to Kirkland WA to see some friends of Count’s at Laughs Comedy Spot. Due to the snow we ended up just going to the Comedy Underground in Seattle to drop in and see whats going on. Tommy Savitt was the Headliner for the weekend, before I ever spoke to him I could tell he was the real deal! There were three things that stood out to me while I watched him work:
1. Laughs Per Minute
As I learn the craft of stand-up one of the elements I have heard people talk about is how often you should be getting laughs from your audience in order to keep them engaged and enjoying your act. The figures 4 to 6 laughs per minute come to mind. I haven’t focused on these kind of stats though, I have just noticed them as I try to learn. This was the first show I’ve seen where I witnessed the power of it. Tommy was hitting these people with punchlines like they were one of those clowns you punch, it leans back and then it stands back up for another punch! over and over and over again!
The funniest jokes are the ones that sneak up on you and slap you in the back of the head. I read about joke writing and one of the most important things I have seen is that a joke has to set the audience up to think one thing, and when you pull the rug out from under them and give them something they didn’t expect instead, it creates involuntary laughter. This of course for me is easier said than done when I grab a pen and paper to write some jokes. Tommy was amazing with this! Watching it in action was really awesome!
3. Crowd Control
The first show was packed, but with the snow and how panicky Seattle gets if they see a snowflake the second show was a smaller crowd. Downtown Seattle felt eerily quiet for a Saturday night because of the snow. one thing that I have noticed is that the second show always has people who are more intoxicated from before they come to see the show, and always lends its self to people wanting to be more vocal. Tommy Savitt handled their “interjections” so well it really felt like he had planned the whole thing! And he still was able to seamlessly go back to his material each time like it was all part of his act. He never broke from his Persona and actually used it as a perfect way to address anything that came up. I have thought of some ways I can use the stage persona I have been working on to handle crowd situations in the future after watching the way he did it flawlessly.
I want to thank Tommy Savitt, he was a funny and really great guy off stage too. Count Hopkins and Tommy Savitt both pushed me to challenge myself. He gave me a guest spot on his late show, watched my set, and gave me really positive feedback. As a new comic it was so exciting and meant a lot to me to have a guy as good as him give me an opportunity to perform on his show, and get the best stage time you can get! Tommy really inspired me, and motivated me even more to continue to get better at stand-up. He will forever be my comedy Guru!!
Thank you Mr. Savitt!
Check Tommy Savitt out and order his album, “Who wants me now?” here: